This is my first Blog after years of being with Destructoid. I will admit, and consider this as a warning, that I am not an avid writer. However, I am passionate about Valkyria Chronicles and I did not want my illiteracy to stop me from conveying my message to you all.
I am sad by the lack of Valkyria Chronicles in the gaming community. I am shocked to see that there will be no localization of Valkyria Chronicles 3 to the west. I am frustrated with Sega and their community manager for not speaking a word since the announcement of the game in Japan. We have cameo appearances of a gorgeous Artbook and playable characters in the recent Project X Zone; yet, no word of the actual game itself. I desperately don't want this game to be fated into the same destiny as Mother 3.
But I never did play the game completely for the nice art style or to gain hours of gameplay for trophies. The story is the reason why I love Valkyria Chronicles and in our current generation of gaming, a story with important life lessons is hard to find.
Valkyria Chronicles, since the first game, taught me what it meant to make hard decisions and that understanding difficult times will make us into who we are. The game helped me understand compassion and the importance of simply being yourself! Avan Hardins (the protagonist) showed me that we are all normal people, however, what breaks and disconnects us are the feelings of being sad, alone, and unworthy. Those feelings make us into the mess that we become. Most importantly, a game--yes a game, not a school or book-- helped me understand the true meaning of friendship and the lesson of accepting others for who they truly are; not for what you wanted them to be.
A favorite quote of mine, from Valkyria Chronicles 2, is "The pain of my friend is my own." Spoken by Leon Hardins, lived by his little brother Avan. The underlying theme of all the Valkyria Chronicles games revolve around friendship and trust. To be a truly good friend, is to be completely dependable. Avan characterized this trait and proved to be a strong leader to his squad.
Of course, Avan isn't as perfect as I am making him out to be. He creates mistakes like all humans do. But he accepts his flaws, and allows his friends to be the solutions to the problems he could not fix alone. For the entire squad, it was always important to be reliable and responsible and Avan did many things throughout the story to show he was a dependable guy.
Rarely do I find meaningful understandings of friendship within a game. I have played plenty of old classic RPGs like: Chrono Trigger, Zelda, Final Fantasy and even many of the famous Atlus games. However, Valkyria Chronicles has stuck with me the most.
I know there are people who enjoy complaining about the random voice audio, (debatable) slow game play, and "unrealistic" animation when you hit someone with a tank shell. But that's exactly the problem that the game tries to bring up. Everyone is more than welcome to quit playing the game whenever they like, but giving patience was another important lesson I learned from Valkyria Chronicles. Most experiences in our life we must learn to be patient before we can fully reap the benefits of what we want. For example, I thought the cut scenes in Valkyria Chronicles 1 were a bit too slow. But as I became more invested in the story, the game became more meaningful and worthwhile. After that moment, I watched every cut scene intently because the story became engrossing and the characters reflected true human emotions.
Another time the game tested my patience was during the infamous tank level. I nearly called it quits, but as Avan once said, "The most violent waves lay bare a man's worth the fastest." This meant we should never give up once we are faced with something that feels overwhelming and impossible. I got through that level, and was greatly rewarded with memorable moments in the game.
I can go on and on about the many great things about Valkyria 1 and 2. However, I want to bring up 3 things that I want everyone to think about the next time they turn on their Valkyria game.
1) The music is amazing. The music plays at the right time. Even looking at the ending scene of Valkyria Chronicles and every time I get near the last 30 seconds of the game, I get shivers just hearing the music. Valkyria Chronicles was the only game I bought the soundtrack for.
2) The voice acting is top notch. Little do you realize how many popular voice actors are in this game, ranging from Laura Bailey to Troy Baker. The voices of Zeri, Audrey, and Avan sound like they're believable people. I've played enough final fantasies and RPGs to know when voice acting is cringe worthy. Valkyria Chronicles' director did voice acting the best and I feel this hasn't been brought up enough.
3) Every cutscene is somewhere rewatchable. Every mini cut scene for a small chuckle can be found somewhere in the game options. No other RPG has done this so well and I am glad I can look back at Marion's past and look over the important lesson that were conveyed in her story. More RPGS need to do this. You no longer need to go back and replay a mission or find the exact scene you're trying to find on youtube.
Valkyria Chronicles 1 and 2 are flawless in more ways that we can imagine. That is why Valkyria Chronicles 3 MUST someday have an English localization or we will truly lose an important piece of treasure in our generation.
It has been constantly cited, even by our beloved editor Dale North, that Valkyria Chronicles is greatly mastered from both VC 1 and 2. However, due to low sales of VC2 and an actual confirmation that there will be no release for the PSP, things look grim.
But there's still hope.
There have been reports that SEGA is planning to release 5 PS Vita game in 2013. Hopefully, one of these will be Valkyria Chronicles 3.
The other hope is you yourself. The reader.
From everyone I know who has played the imported version, they loved it. While many non Japanese speakers can only feel the searing heat of jealousy and frustration in wanting to enjoy this masterpiece, there is a fan base into translating the game, along with a facebook group trying to lead the charge into a localization to the west. But it's been a year and a half and it's still not a enough. That is why I am begging the people of Destructoid to help. Please like their page and give a support to help these amazing people in keeping the Valkyrian Flame Alive.
Play the game. Share and talk amongst your friends about it. Join the discussion on the SEGA forums, gamefaq forums, and if you haven't yet, purchase the game!
Valkyria Chronicles is one of the most beloved series I have ever encountered and it would be a shame to not play this game for yourself. I have learned many lessons from this series and I believe it helped shape me into a better person. Perhaps it may do the same for you, but know that I wholeheartedly believe that after finishing the game, you will feel like you were missing out on something far greater.
Lastly, I don't believe that Sega is to be entirely at fault. I'm positive that if VC2 sold well on the PSP, we would be seeing the sequel. I am positive that the people at Sega truly do want to see a western release and that our thoughts are truly being heard.
The biggest mistake that I believe Sega has made is simply not using the Valkyria Chronicles community as a resource. We are more than just people who play video games. The fans I know range from the best programmers, translators, fundraisers, and dedicated working Gallians who are passionate towards working for a Western Release. The Valkyrian community is strong and ambitious. I believe Sega should use our help in making the goals both the community and Sega to be possible.
In the end, I appreciate what Sega has done thus far. Without them, we would not have been introduced to the series back in 2008. Without Sega, we could not have created bonding connections with Welkin and Alicia, Isara and Rosie, and; every character that made the game feel alive and heartwarming. So I sincerely thank Sega for bringing to the fans Valkyria Chronicles.
As of this article, I am learning Japanese and have recently imported the Extra Edition of VC3. I didn't want to resort to this, but the Valkyria Chronicles series is amazing, and I'm willing to put in the effort to experience this game to the fullest. I know learning Japanese is hard, but as Avan once said in VC2: "Take it all in slowly."
To add to my dedication, I have purchased a PSP just for VC2 and I know many other Gallians are also willing to buy a PS Vita or a PS4 just to continue to see more of Valkyria Chronicles. After playing the game, I'm sure you too will understand why.
Thank you for reading. Thank you Chad for your story and help on building up the courage to write this blog. Thank you Dale North for having some of the best writers on the internet. And thank you all to the people who are supporting the cause for Valkyria Chronicles 3. It is unbelievably appreciated.